WATERFORD - Sunday was a day Aaron Miller won't soon forget. He graduated from Waterford High School, he was master of ceremonies for the commencement and he was one of three valedictorians.
Another big day for Miller will be June 13, when he'll purchase season tickets for Ohio State University football games.
Miller, 19, plans to study computer science and engineering at the school in Columbus.
Waterford graduation 2011
"I don't know what to expect, but I'm excited," he said.
Miller was one of 66 who graduated Sunday afternoon in Waterford Elementary's Harry W. Cooper Annex.
"The largest class that has graduated since I've been here is 76 - that was in 1982," said Tom Simms, one of three senior class advisers. "So this is a good sized class."
According to statistics shared by senior class historian Levi McCutcheon, 48 of the graduates will go to college, 15 will enter the workforce and three will join the military.
For McCutcheon, the decision to attend Ohio University in Athens and major in electrical engineering was a rather easy one.
"My dad is in that field and I've had it planned since I was small," he said.
Waterford High Class of 2011
- 66 graduates
- Colors: Platinum and royal blue
- Flower: Gerber-Hybrid Daisy
- Song: "Don't Stop Believing," by Journey
- Motto: "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."
Many of the graduates had mixed feelings Sunday. They said they are looking forward to what's ahead but a little sad, too, about leaving their friends.
"I come away with a lot of good memories and stuff I'll never forget because I've been with most of these kids since kindergarten," said Tana Wallace, 18, who plans to attend Washington State Community College and then Ohio University and pursue a career in nursing.
Wallace told her classmates in her valedictorian address to "remain optimistic and focused because they are important qualities in life".
Many parents also had mixed emotions Sunday.
"I'm excited but a little sad," said Malinda Burt, 35, mother of graduate Tyra Burt. "It definitely went fast."
Like Aaron Miller, Laura Whalin, 18, will also attend Ohio State University. Whalin, a member of the school's FFA (Future Farmers of America) group for four years, plans to study agricultural business management.
"There's sadness, but everything good has to end and it's exciting that the best is yet to come," she said.